Doctoral education/PhD studies

Here you can find information on how to become a doctoral student at MBB, how to become a principal supervisor, MBB's routine for admission of doctoral students as well as information for current PhD students.

Do you want to become a doctoral student at MBB?

To become a doctoral student at KI, apply for one or more of the announced doctoral projects. Find all advertised positions for doctoral education at KI.

How to become a doctoral (PhD) student at KI

Admission to doctoral education at KI

Find more information about admission to doctoral education at KI as well as entry requirements.

Eligibility for doctoral studies

All prospective doctoral students must meet both the general and the specific eligibility requirements for doctoral studies. The application for eligibility assessment should first be submitted to the central administration at Karolinska Institutet. You will find the address in the application form.

Please note that the application for eligibility assessment must be approved before you can apply for admission to doctoral studies at MBB. The processing times for eligibility assessments may be up to three weeks. If your application is incomplete, it may take longer.

For principal supervisors

Establishment of a doctoral student position and green light

As principal supervisor, before you can advertise a new doctoral student position and project, you need to establish a doctoral student position and get approved as principal supervisor for doctoral studies. The approval is called the “green light”.

Routine for recruitment and admission

The process of establishing a new doctoral student position at MBB follows the regulations for admission to doctoral studies at KI.

1. The principal supervisor is asked to select 1-3 candidates from the applicants to an announced position that have also been confirmed to have general eligibility.

2. The MBB Doctoral Student Selection Committee, headed by the Departmental Study Director for Doctoral Education and joined by the HR Coordinator of MBB, holds interviews with the selected candidates with the following routines:

a) The main supervisor should be present at the interviews and shall in advance have provided copies of the i) endorsed Green light for the position, ii) the announcement for the position, iii) the preliminary individual study plan (ISP) outline for the position, iv) the CV’s of the selected candidates and v) the endorsed general eligibility of the candidates to be interviewed.

b) Interviews with candidates will occur either physically or through videoconference.

c) Each candidate will be interviewed for approximately 30 min and will be asked the following predefined questions:

  1. Describe yourself and your background (5 min)
  2. Explain why you applied for this particular doctoral student position (5 min)
  3. Give a short presentation of a scientific project (any topic of your choice but not related to your proposed PhD project) using three slides with i) background, ii) methods and results, and iii) conclusions (10 min)
  4. Additional follow-up questions (approx. 10 min)

3. The MBB Doctoral Student Selection Committee will discuss the outcomes of the interviews with the supervisor and determine whether any of the candidates shall be recommended for admittance to the announced position, or if any additional action first needs to be taken.

4. Final admittance to doctoral education will be taken by the Department Chair, following the KI routines.

5. Within three months after admittance of a new doctoral student to MBB an ISP seminar needs to be held and the final Individual Study Plan endorsed. Well in advance for the ISP seminar, detailed instructions will be sent to the respective doctoral students and their principal supervisors. The ISP seminars are open to the public.

Doctoral student selection interviews, spring 2019

The following times are available for interviews with candidates for doctoral positions at MBB. Interviews are taking place in room B0313, Biomedicum, Solnavägen 9.

  • Tuesday, March 19, 9:00 - 11:00
  • Tuesday, April 16, 9:00 - 11:00
  • Tuesday, May 21, 9:00 - 11:00
  • Tuesday, June 18, 9:00 - 11:00

Members of MBB's doctoral student selection committee

Elias Arnér Biochemistry
Martin Haraldsson Chemical Biology
Nicola Crosetto Translational Medicine and Chemical Biology
Eleni Gelali Translational Medicine and Chemical Biology
Jens Hjerling-Leffler Molecular Neurobiology
Björn Högberg Biomaterials
Simon Elsässer Translational Medicine and Chemical Biology
Lina Rowland HR Coordinator

Already a doctoral student at MBB?

Credit Transfer

If you have taken a course outside KI, or if you took a course before being admitted as a PhD student, you can apply to have the credits transferred to your PhD program. Fill in form 13 and attach the necessary documentation.

You can also obtain credits for other activities, such as conference presentations, journal club and seminars. Fill in the form number 16 and attach a suitable proof (e.g. a certificate signed by the course organizer, or a conference abstract showing that you have presented a poster, or a signed statement by your supervisor that you have attended journal club X times over Y years) and send it to the Director of doctoral education.

Follow up of the individual study plan

Annual review of the individual study plan

The study plan should be followed up yearly in terms of time plan for courses and progress of research. Fill in the form named "Yearly follow-up" and send to the director of doctoral studies. Note: when approximately two years of full time training have passed or an estimated two years remain (whatever comes first), a half time review (see below) should be done instead of a regular annual review.

In case of essential deviations from the study plan this should be revised and sent to the director of doctoral studies.

Activity report

It is the doctoral student's responsibility to report on his/her activity and financial support for each semester. Send the information to the administrator of doctoral studies, who will register it in Ladok. Activities here refer to the proportion of equivalent full-time involvement that a doctoral student has devoted to his/her doctoral studies.

Course credits

Doctoral courses passed at KI are automatically entered into LADOK.

Credits for doctoral courses examined at other universities have to be transferred to KI. Fill in form 13 named "Credit and qualification report" and send it to the director of doctoral studies. Please use one form per course.

Form 16 is used also for other credit-bearing course components (e.g. conferences, research visits, seminar series, teaching).

Half-time seminar

When approximately half of the stipulated time has passed, every doctoral student's research project should be reviewed. See your general study plan syllabus for the course requirements before the half-time review. The student should write a literature review of the research field, normally about eight pages excluding references, and a short (about two pages) summary of the project. In addition, the student should present the achieved results and a plan for the future in the form of a seminar.

The half-time seminar should be planned well in advance. Contact the administrator of doctoral studies to decide on time and place.

The review committee shall consist of three persons, two could be from MBB but detached from the project and one should be from another department or university.

The application for half-time review, LADOK excerpt, suggested review committee, the literature review of the research field and the summary as well as publications, manuscripts and copies of ethical permits should be sent to and approved by the director of doctoral studies.

The PhD-student should then distribute this material and a copy of the study plan to the members of the review committee and advertise the seminar on the department e-mail list, which should give a link to the summary.

After the seminar, the review committee should give their recommendations and suggestions, preferably written down for follow-up by the student and supervisor. The official form Half time review should also be filled in after the seminar and then handed to the administrator of doctoral studies for registration in LADOK.


Director of Doctoral Education/PhD Studies

Elias Arnér

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 869 83

Officer of Doctoral Education

Victoria Balabanova

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 877 34


Doctoral educationDoctoral student